Many people are flabbergasted by the idea that companies want advertising delivered in your car. Others think it might be a good idea. Do you know that the delivery mechanism is already available and it might be in your vehicle now?
We are constantly bombarded with advertising. It is ubiquitous. Today, you can go home and turn off TV, radio, etc. and maybe be insulated from advertising. Maybe. Your vehicle might be the only remaining place you can escape ads – sort of. Let’s face it, there are few places we can go and few things we can do that are not permeated by advertising in some form.
Many of you will say, “we can ignore the advertising surrounding us.” Some of you will say that you have no objection to advertising delivered in your car. But the matter is not that simple.
First, when companies deliver advertising in a vehicle, it creates a distraction. We already see the effects of thousands of distracted drivers – crashes, injuries, and deaths. The firms working to improve the technology to deliver the ads and the potential advertisers, and the car makers promise that the ads will be delivered only when you are stopped at a traffic light. My concern is that this will begin to creep into other moments in your vehicle when it is truly distracting. A large number of people can be harmed or killed before these ads and the delivery capability is regulated.
Second, a large amount of your personal information is already being collected by car makers and the companies that produce the software. They know when you exceed the speed limit, or run a red light, or fail to make a full stop at a stop sign. If new software is installed in your vehicle with greater tracking capabilities, these people will know more and more about where you go, what you do, how you drive, and the effectiveness of the ads delivered. This is all presented in the name of creating a better driving experience for you. But why does a car maker want or need to know that one day you took an alternate route to work for some reason.
Third, the answer to that question and many others is that neither the car maker nor the software producer care about much of this information. Knowing how often you stop at the grocery store is really not important to them. Nor do they actually care that when you buy pizza you always buy it from one chain. The value of the information they gather is that they can sell it. And they will sell it. They will sell it to businesses who want to advertise, to insurance companies, and to anyone else willing to pay the price. How do you feel about that?
Issues surrounding the sale and use of other information by all kinds of digital companies are swirling today. One significant concern is that there is no regulation or control over what information can be gathered and how it can be used. There are no industry-wide privacy regulations and no constraints on how the information can be used. These things will surely come, but we don’t know when that will happen or how our information can be used until then.
Certainly, some people place a higher price on their privacy than others. And different people have different tolerances for when and where advertising is delivered.
I would like to know what you think. Do you want advertising delivered in your car or other vehicle? How do you feel about the loss of privacy that will accompany the technology? How do you feel about auto makers selling your information at will? Do you think advertising in your vehicle will be a potentially dangerous distraction? Tell us in a comment.
Altizer Law, P.C., has been representing plaintiffs in auto accident cases, medical malpractice, and a range of civil matters for more than 25 years. We think of ourselves as a law firm for the people. When you or a loved one is injured through no fault of your own, we fight for your right to justice and fair compensation for your injuries. When trusted attorney Bettina Altizer represents you, she fights with conviction and tenacity until your best interest is served.